Gallifrey One: The 29 Voyages of Gallifrey One - Day One

It's feels really strange to be posting my first update when the con is effectively half over already, and yet here we are. Though Gally "officially" opens on Friday morning, there's an organized event on Thursday evening (the ice cream social and dance), and LobbyCon begins well before that.

As I understand it, the term LobbyCon began as a description for the pre-con socializing in the lobby on the Thursday night before Gally. Over the years, though, as people arrive earlier and earlier (some folks get in on Monday or even Sunday), LobbyCon has expanded to fill the available space. There was already plenty of LobbyCon'ing happening on Wednesday night (my first night this year), and I imagine there was even some on at least Tuesday.

As for ribbon trading, that began in earnest this year in the early afternoon on Thursday, an hour or two before registration even opened for folks to pick up their badges. I didn't bother to attach them all to my badge that night, starting fresh on Friday, and I literally have a stack of ribbons 2-3 inches thick waiting for attention. The ribbon game is still strong.

However, I think I can safely say this year that a trend I had started to notice in the last couple years is now a full-blown Thing: ribbons aren't the only tradables changing hands. Aside from my friend's fabulous and ever-popular commemorative coins, people are making their own knitted ribbon/badge bling, tiny bowties, or buttons. So. Many. Buttons.

By the time the first official con event rolled around, I was equal parts hyped up and exhausted; my friends were making fun of me for yawning at breakfast at 9am (despite the fact I'd been up and around for at least two hours already). I persevered, though, and made it to the Radio Free Skaro live show in time to see the technical difficulties launch the show.

I only stayed long enough for the interviews with Sylvester McCoy and the panel of three writers (Philip Martin, Rona Munro, and Stephen Wyatt), though, because I had a kaffeeklatsch to attend before RFS ended. For an hour, I got to sit around a table sipping coffee and listening to a conversation (occasionally adding something, but rarely) with Peter Anghelides and Rob Shearman, two writers and, in Rob's case (I'd like to think), a friend. It was one of the most chill experiences I've ever had at Gally, and I'll always remember it fondly.

Then it was time for the panel on LGBTQIA+ representation in Doctor Who. A person with whom I've paneled before was moderating, and so my attendance was in part to support them, though my main interest was the actual panel material. I felt like the panelists (and audience) covered quite a lot of ground, but my main takeaway was that we're all in agreement that what we need is simply more characters with marginalized identities. Once there are more characters from whom to choose, no one character will have to try to represent everyone. And that would be a win all around.

By this point in the day, I was more fried than I realized. I sat down for the beginning of "The Zygon Invasion" live commentary and couldn't sit still. I decided instead I'd try to get some autographs done. Unfortunately, that took way more time than I'd anticipated (I missed the Rachel Talalay interview as a result ~pout~). All that time spent in line (combined with a brief lost wallet scare) meant that I couldn't sit still for all of the Jemma Redgrave interview, either. I made it less than halfway before I needed to escape to my room for some down time.

I made sure to make it back to Program A for the Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred panel, though. Having seen each of them separately at previous cons, I was really excited to see them together, and I was not disappointed. Sylvester came down into the audience and worked the crowd brilliantly, and he and Sophie played off each other brilliantly. I love these two so much, and I'm so glad I made it to that panel.

Then it was time for my own panel, up in Program B (the Meridien Ballroom): "Time Travel, TV Tropes, and the Suspension of Disbelief." For the first (and likely last) time, I got to panel on a couch, and each of us got our own microphones. It was surreal. Of course, we were up against the Stephen Moffat interview in Program A, so the audience was sparse, but I feel like we had a good conversation anyway, and the audience were all quite engaged. I left the room riding a bit of a high.

I had a break in my planned schedule then, and was willing to be flexible about missing the "Would I Lie to You?" game show panel in order to get some dinner. Luckily for me, I managed to get back in time for most of it anyway, as it was (as ever) hilarious.

After a break just long enough for me to track down and collect some friends, I headed to Program A for the live commentary on "Thin Ice," featuring writer Sarah Dollard (I adore her), costume designer Hayley Nebauer, and model unit supervisor Mike Tucker. I learned some things, enjoyed a fabulous episode with friends, and traded even more ribbons.

Not having little late-night stamina (read: being a parent/old), I opted not to go to any of the later events, and instead crashed around 11:30. Not a bad start!


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